The 47-year-old man who had crashed into them has been arrested on suspicion of causing the death of the three.
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on June 23, 2020.
There are times when a tragedy we hear about is so difficult to grasp that we are left feeling great sadness, even when we don't know those people involved personally. The repercussions of a moment of carelessness are sometimes so great that finding any forgiveness for it becomes almost impossible. In these moments, all we can do is pray for the family and count our blessings for being safe.
On June 21, a father and his two kids decided to go on a walk with their dog. It also happened to be Father's Day and what the family imagined would be a bonding moment turned out to be a heartbreaking one. The dad, his daughter and son, as well as their dog, were hit by a car while they were out on the walk and all four of them perished.
The family resided in Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK. They were identified as Joshua James Flynn, aged 37, his son Coby-Jay Flynn, 15, and daughter Skylar Fly 12, all from the local area, according to a statement by the Cumbria Police. The three pedestrians died after a collision on Abbey Road, Dalton. Their beloved family dog also passed away after the accident.
Emergency services arrived around 2:30 pm after a report of a road traffic collision involving one vehicle, a Peugeot 206, and three pedestrians was made. The 47-year-old driver of the vehicle was also from the area and "has been arrested on suspicion of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving and being over the prescribed limit of alcohol. The man suffered injuries not believed to be serious," according to the police state.
The school Coby-Jay and Skylar attended also shared a statement with the local families telling them about the harrowing incident. "This will affect our whole school community and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with their mother, wider family and friends coping with the devastating loss," the statement from Furness academy said.
While the children's mother's statement has not been recorded by any newspapers, the Dalton community, which has been deeply impacted by the incident, has expressed their horror. Ian Singleton, who was nearby and witnessed the incident, posted on Facebook that the scene was like a "horror movie". "I'm still shook up at what I saw. My thoughts go out to the family involved," he said, according to Mirror UK.
Furness Gymnastics Club also expressed their condolences at losing Skylar, who was part of it since she was seven. "Skylar was always smiling, with a twinkle in her eye and thanks to her Mum always had the most amazing plaited hair - a wonder to all the girls and something she always displayed with pride!" they said.
"There's an intense sadness. It's horrific and it just feels heavy. We're in disbelief," said a woman who lived near the crash site, as per the PA news agency via Mirror UK. "Whenever something like that happened would be awful but I think the fact it was Father's Day just multiplied everything," she added.
"After I noticed the police I went to the top of the drive and looked down. I didn't see the driver of the car but the door to the car was open and it had hit a tree. There were emergency vehicles everywhere, police and ambulances, and the fire brigade came down later," her partner, who didn't want to be identified, said.
The victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the Dalton Police are "urging anyone who might have witnessed the incident" to come forward. They can contact "T/PS 2265 Jack Stabler (Serious Collision Investigation Unit) – SCIU@Cumbria.police.uk or call 101 referencing incident 124 of 21st June 2020."
On the morning of June 22, the Police had made markings on the road and pavement while damaged temporary railings were on the roadside and a mark could be seen at the base of a tree. Some people left flowers on the tree to honor the victims. "I was listening to the radio so I had no idea what had happened until later but I know my neighbor was celebrating their 70th birthday and heard the bang from the crash. It was a big shock," said another neighbor. One resident added, "It is a terrible, terrible thing."
Cover Image Source: (L) Cumbria Police; (R) St Mary's Church